April 20
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The Bank of Georgia Group (BOGG) and Ameriabank announced today that following negotiations, they have reached an agreement on the acquisition of Ameriabank by BOGG. Judging by the statements of both parties, this will be an important deal for the banking system of Armenia, because through the Group, Ameriabank will become the only financial institution in Armenia listed on the London International Stock Exchange. This is important, especially considering the current sales processes of HSBC Armenia. On the other hand, however, this deal has raised many questions among the public, which we asked Ameriabank to clarify.

Today, BOGG and Ameriabank announced that they have reached an agreement on the acquisition of Ameriabank's shares. There are still several approval processes before the deal is closed. When do you expect the final deal to take place?

You are right. The deal has yet to be approved. The parties have only announced the end of the negotiation phase. It still needs to be approved by the general meetings of shareholders of Ameriabank and BOGG PLC, as well as by regulatory bodies, including the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia. There is no firm timeline for the completion of the process, although we expect the process to be completed within the next few months.

Considering that the main shareholder of Ameriabank, Ruben Vardanyan, is currently in prison, who is negotiating with BOGG?

Mr. Ruben Vardanyan is not a direct shareholder of Ameriabank. Ameriabank's 48.82% shareholder is Imast Group, in which Ruben Vardanyan's share is entrusted to trust management.

Imast Group is one of the five shareholders of Ameriabank, and it does not hold the majority of voting shares. The bank's shareholders include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, and the Afeyan Foundation.

Each shareholder can make decisions only regarding the share under his control, and the approval of the deal must take place by joint decision of all shareholders.

The deal gave rise to speculation, particularly because Ruben Vardanyan has been in an Azerbaijani prison for about five months. What is your response to these conversations? When did the negotiations on the deal begin?

First of all, let us note that the process of changing the shareholding structure started two years ago. All shareholders were involved in this process.

What changes can the deal lead to for both brands? Will the change in ownership have any effect for Ameriabank customers?

If the deal is approved, Ameriabank will continue business expansion and development under its brand and under the leadership of the existing management team, remaining faithful to its adopted values, declared mission, and vision. No change will occur if this potential deal is approved. This deal will only imply a change in the bank's shareholding. It should be noted that in the past, there have been changes in the composition of shareholders, and they have never affected Ameriabank’s activity; in this case, the change will not affect the activity of Ameriabank either. To emphasize all this, in connection with this deal, BOGG will initiate the process of changing its name to emphasize the independence of its members and this new phase of its international expansion.

Moreover, if this possible deal is approved, Ameriabank will gain access to global financial markets for raising capital and making investments, which will naturally have a positive impact and create new opportunities for partners and clients. Becoming a member of such a Group will strengthen cooperation with existing correspondent banks, as well as provide an opportunity to expand the list of correspondent accounts.

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